Beijing: Transition to a Transit City

  • Ziqi Song
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mobility book series (LNMOB)


Over the past three decades, Beijing has experienced profound changes in mobility culture. The city has changed from being a Non-Motorised City to a nearly Traffic-Saturated City in less than 30 years. Private cars have become the leading power in the motorisation process, and bicycles no longer dominate streets in Beijing. The city has accomplished the building of a surface and underground transport infrastructure system of reasonable quality. In addition, the government transport policy has been modified from encouraging private car purchasing to restricting vehicle ownership and use. No other megacity has ever experienced such rapid and pervasive changes in its transport system within such a relatively short period of time. The encouraging sign is that the city has developed a clear vision for becoming a Transit City, and has been working on promoting public transport for the last couple of years. This chapter investigates the dynamic aspects of the city’s mobility culture and describes its evolution path towards a more sustainable future. More specifically, three aspects of the evolving mobility culture are focused, namely travel demand, mobility patterns and transport policy. This chapter concludes with discussions on the strengths of Beijing which will assist it in achieving its long-term vision, and the obstacles to that aim which the city also presents.


Gross Domestic Product Public Transport Travel Demand Ring Road Vehicle Ownership 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ziqi Song
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Coastal EngineeringUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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